I have not managed to post a lot these last few months –  I’ve been super busy with various things, one of which has been finishing a large parrot diptych which was a wedding present for my niece (and goddaughter) – who got married a whole year ago! Shame on me…

Also I could not resist joining in the Inktober challenge, which consists in posting one ink drawing per day, for the whole month of October. There is a list of prompts available  for anyone who wants to use them, such as ‘swift’, ‘long’, ‘mysterious’, etc. I was so rushed, I couldn’t be bothered, but then I slightly regretted it – it was so fun seeing the wildly different interpretations people put on the same word. A couple of people even wrote a haiku or limerick to accompany their drawing each day. I wish I could share some of them here, but I have no clue whatsoever on how to link to Instagram.


A grumpy owl


The point about these challenges is that there are few rules, no obligation to keep up every day, and no prizes. People do it for the fun, just like a writing challenge, and the pleasure consists in the making, and in seeing what others have made, and commenting when one is so inclined. The #inktober2017 hashtag on IG allows you to find these drawings, if anyone is so inclined.  Many are wonderful – it is amazing what some people can do using nothing but a cheap ballpoint pen.

Below is my own, rather pathetic, attempt.

Sisters – ballpoint and watercolor


Some nights I only really managed a scribble.

Two scruffy dogs


I had planned to use the challenge to push myself in perfecting my technique with ink, which is not my strongest point. I was going to watch some YouTube courses, and practice with various mediums, such as wash, dip pens and ballpoint. Sadly, my lack of time meant that I usually ended up making a quick doodle before bedtime. However, I still had fun (mostly looking at other people’s stuff!)

One day I followed the prompt, which was ‘poison’.


Another, I was inspired by some  pomegranates I had picked.

Bad light, so not a good photo…


And one night when I had more time, I went back to my Greek roots.

The goddess Athena


I added some gold to pep this little fellow up.


Sheep always make you sleep better!


As does whale song.


Today is the last day, so I made a special effort. These bats were surprisingly difficult to draw upside down (I forced myself not to turn the paper around), and I tried to concentrate on tone and negative spaces. Amazing how bats remind you of vampires, as well as mummies, isn’t it? They were inspired by a wonderful photo by the award-winning wildlife photographer Pedro Jarque Krebs.


Ok, ok, I know they’re spooky, but it is Halloween, and I’ve  made a pumpkin already!

Ink and collage pumpkin



35 thoughts on “Inktober”

  1. I love those parrots, and your puffer-fish, Marina.
    Well done with all your challenges, far better than I could ever manage.
    If you like ‘biro’ art, please check out the site of my friend, Jane. I have bought some of her art, and she is currently working on a commission from me, of my dog Ollie.
    Best wishes, Pete.


    1. Thank you, Pete, but you have just finished challenges that you set for yourself, so stop fishing for compliments!!!😆😂😂 Also thank you so much for telling me about Jane, her work is indeed wonderful. I was green with envy, and have followed her blog. You should write about her, everyone would love it (but perhaps you have done so already in the past?) And please do post her picture of Ollie when it’s done! 🌺🌺🌺

      Liked by 1 person

  2. You have a real talent for diptych and triptych pieces – your parrots are wonderfully lifelike without being unnecessarily realistic. I also love the sheep, and your vivid pumpkin colours!


  3. May I have the ‘poison’ for fun, the ‘sisters’ ’cause I would love to have them hanging on my wall or the ‘sheep’ . . . . methinks your interpretation truly would make my sleep feel better . . .

    Liked by 2 people

  4. The parrot diptych, what a fine wedding gift for your niece and I think well worth waiting on. Your Inktober sketches are all great, but the bats sketch gets my vote.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I loved them too ~ such a variety! The Goddess Athen immediately brought the Travelling Sketchbook to mind. My favourite, if I had to choose, could be the scribbly dogs because they have such life. I admire you for finishing the challenge, even when it was late at night.
    And the parrots are wonderful. I agree with Kate’s comment about the realism. I would love to be able to abstract out like that. I tend to get mired in the details.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Marina you are a source of inspiration! I love the way you experiment with your art. The seagulls really resonate with me although the triptych is gorgeous too. Do you work from photos? I have recently stretched myself with a portrait of my grandson. Learning all the time. There are some very useful and reasonably priced classes on line with Craftsy. And, you get to keep them once purchased so your access is permanent.


    1. Yes, I’ve taken some Craftsy classes too. I don’t usually have the patience to follow the homework step by step, but I’ve certainly got some great tips! I also try portraits of the grandchildren, that’s an area in which I’d love to improve… Sigh… Never enough time. I do work from photos, and from life when possible (difficult with birds in flight). Then I try to use imagination, but it’s no my strongest point. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think art has a way of making me ‘see’ differently. I work from photos too but its the observations of subjects like birds that give me the mechanics behind what I’m trying to render on paper/canvas.

        Liked by 1 person

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